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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sermons that shape us: Where your treasure is! (Pt.3)

(Part 3)

“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”-Luke 12:33-34

We are all familiar with the variety of earthly accounts into which we can make deposits and are well versed on how to place things into those accounts, but how do we make deposits into our heavenly account? 

Jesus instructs us here in Luke 12 that we lay up treasure in heaven by helping meet the needs of others. That means using your earthly possessions to see the needs of others met. All throughout scripture we see God point out that it is in our eternal interest to help others in need:

 “Whoever has a bountiful (good) eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”-Proverbs 22:9 (ESV)

“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”-Isaiah 58:10 (NLT)


“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”-Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)

"No other story in the Bible illustrates better the eternal impact of ignoring this truth than Matthew 19:16-21 (ESV):

“Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

This is the sad testament of a man who had the means to help those in need, but was unwilling to use it to bless others. Wealth had become his god. His possessions had become his identity. He could not see that using his wealth on earth could build an eternal foundation in heaven. 

People, primarily, store their earthly finances in one of two places: a checking/savings account and a retirement account. One we have access to daily, the other is laid up for the future. Because I have a retirement account, I can look forward to retirement. Why? Because, that which I laid up in that account will be there waiting on me. Pastor Randy Alcorn made a similar statement regarding heaven: 

“He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity.”

Why? Because we have treasure laid up there. Many people don’t look forward to retirement because they have nothing laid up for it. In much the same way, many don’t look forward to eternity because they have nothing laid up for it. 

If we truly want our lives to be filled with light, purpose and meaning then we need to develop an eye for what is eternal. Every act of kindness, good deed, and sacrificial effort is accumulating interest in the heart of our heavenly Father. By helping those in need, we are laying up treasure in heaven.

Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church 






Sermons that shape us: Where your treasure is! (Pt.2)

(Part 2)

“Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’-Luke 12:16-19

In the story of the rich farmer, the story begins with the farmer taking inventory of the massive harvest that he had accumulated.  It appears that, prior to planting, the farmer did not adequately evaluate his ability to house such a harvest. He did not address his storage issue until he had more possessions than he could manage. Only then did he turn his attention on where he would store it. 

His answer was to increase his capacity to hold more earthly possessions. It appears as if it never crossed his mind to use his excess to lay up treasures in heaven, that is to be rich towards God. Rather he chose to increase his earthly capacity to receive possessions. In a very stern rebuke, God address the farmer because of this in Luke 12:20-21:

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Although, the old adage is true, regarding earthly wealth-“You can’t take it with you.” We can use our earthly possessions to lay up treasures in our eternal account. Jesus made this profound statement in Matthew 6:21: 

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

Jesus tells us that where we store our treasure is where our heart is. If we store all our treasure on earth. That is where are hearts will be. If we store all our treasure in heaven, that is where our hearts will be. Having predetermined where are treasure will go, says more about our spiritual maturity than what we actually possess. It changes the way that we look at possessions. 

One of my favorite television shows to watch is American Pickers. One of the things I hear on the show that Mike Wolf often says when rummaging through the mounds of relics in people’s barns and garages is this “He/She really had an eye for what would be valuable one day.” Meaning they could look at something and see value in it, when others did not.

It’s interesting that when talking about possessions Jesus said this:

 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”-Matthew 6:22-24

My New Spirit Filled Life Bible had a great commentary on this passage: “The person with a good (healthy) eye is one whose intent is to serve God and not money (Mammon-god of materialism). The person with the bad eye is selfish, covetous, and miserly. The one who looks at possessions properly, their life is full of light, life, meaning and purpose. The other’s life is plunged into darkness devoid of meaning. 

It is interesting how two people can look at the same thing, but depending on “where their treasure is” will see the item differently. Example: Someone has a car they are looking to give away and asks if you know anyone that could use it.

1. Person #1 may look at it and say, “I’ll take it.” They already have a car and a one car garage. But upon receiving it they decide to build another garage to house their newly received blessing. 

2. Person #2 recognizing they already have a car, begin looking for someone else to give the car to that could truly use it. 

One person is padding their earthly account the other is investing in their heavenly account. That person has an eye for that which is going to bless God and bless others. They understand what true heavenly treasure looks like and see the value in it, even when others don’t. We need to develop an eye for what is eternally valuable. 

Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church 

Sermons that shape us: Where your treasure is! (Pt.1)

(Part 1)

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”-Matthew 6:19-24

One of the things that I love about the Sermon on the Mount is how it shifts the way we look at everything around us. Jesus was revolutionary in the way that he approached religion, social issues, and morality. He was able to look at culture and see dangerous trends and address them by showing us the value of investing in that which is eternal versus that which is temporal.

That is what we see happening here in Matthew 6. Jesus is unveiling a new way to look at money and possessions. Jesus never condemns having money and possessions, but rather uses this moment to shift our perspectives on the purpose of our possessions. 

I think it’s interesting that when Jesus begins the discussion about money and possessions, he doesn’t begin the discussion talking about what kind of things we should be storing up. I would think that would be the natural place to start. What are we to be storing? Jesus, however, starts with the “where” before the “what.” 

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”-Matthew 6:19-20

Before defining for us what he considers to be treasures, He carefully defines the benefit of choosing the right storage conditions. In vs. 19, Jesus begins by pointing out how that treasures stored on earth are susceptible to being eaten and destroyed by moth and rust or stolen by thieves. In vs. 20, He contends that treasures stored in heaven are immune to moths and rust and are unable to be stolen by thieves. 

We call storage facilities that house our treasures-banks. Think about this for just a moment. There are a variety of banks. You have financial institutions that we call banks, but there are also blood banks and food banks. When it comes to storing our possessions, typically, we look at our possessions and decide (based on what we have) where we are going to store it. We choose where to store based on what we have accumulated. That’s how things typically work.

However, what if we decided beforehand where we were going to store things. What if we decided the where before we decided the what. Wouldn’t that cause us to only pursue those things that could be deposited there. If we decided that we are only going to pursue those things that we can store in our heavenly account, wouldn’t that dramatically change the way we look at our possessions, but more so challenge us to evaluate what we are pursuing? 

Pastor Scott Burr


Monday, July 12, 2021

Sermons that shape us: Secrets (Pt.2)

 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”-Matthew 6:5-6

Are we more concerned about attracting God or a crowd? In this section of scripture Jesus is comparing two types of people: those who pray to draw a crowd and those who pray to draw God. 

Prayer, for the Pharisees, had become a marketing strategy. It was all about attracting attention. When they prayed they prayed publicly on street corners and synagogues. Their goal was to attract a crowd, but to what end? To build a reputation and a following. 

This is where Jesus makes the distinction. We can either choose to use prayer to build a reputation among men or to build a reputation with God:

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”-Matthew 6:7-8

When God is not the focal point of our prayer life, then our prayers are nothing but babel, vain repetitions that are not rooted in any type of relationship. Prayer, however, that is God-centric is rooted in knowing the Father and knowing that He knows our needs before we ask. 

Nestled among these verses is some great teaching on giving, prayer, and fasting; but the common denominator/the pressing need connecting each of them was the superficial spirituality that was replacing true worship. Think about how social media has influenced friendships, communication, dating, and self-image replacing the genuine with the superficial. 

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”- Matthew 6:16-18

They tried to look miserable and disheveled so people would admire their spirituality. They were trying to pawn off superficial spirituality as genuine worship. Superficial means: appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely.

Jesus was combating the tendency of men to make their giving, prayer and fasting about themselves, rather than taking those things into the secret place with God where He would be glorified. In fact, the only way that our giving, prayer, and fasting can be adequately gauged is by the amount of glory God receives because of them. We give in secret, so that God is seen, not you and I. We pray in secret, so God is seen, not you and I. We fast in secret, so God is seen, not you and I. 

Giving, prayer, and fasting is most sincere when it is done in secret, where we hide ourselves in Him, so that He receives all the glory. 


Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church 



Sermons that shape us: Secrets (Pt.1)

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”-Matthew 6:1-4

Keeping secrets doesn’t seem like something that would be a part of Jesus’ overall discipleship plan. Secrets are not typically seen as healthy and are often connected to increased anxiety, depression, and poor health. Secrets have become a vessel by which we deceive others by withholding or concealing information from them; either for their detriment or our benefit. 

However, the definition of secret is much less ominous: a secret is something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.

Keeping something unknown or unseen does not have to be motivated by a desire to deceive. Instead, keeping something secret can be a discipline that when executed properly promotes a greater awareness of God rather than a greater awareness of ourselves. Unfortunately, most things people do today are plastered all over social media for all to see.

 I think we can officially say that we live in the “Look at me! Look at me!” generation. There were lots of times when my kids were young that they would say “Look at me daddy” as they attempted something new or discovered a new talent. Some people, unfortunately, never grew out of the need to be seen and rather than mature decided to monetize that behavior and make a living at it. Thus, today we are inundated with apps to which we can subscribe to promote ourselves, our talents, our skill sets and opinions. We gauge our success by the number of likes, views, followers and subscribers we maintain.

Literally, we have tied success to how many people are looking at us. We jokingly say things like, “If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen.” Yet, we are raising a generation of young adults that in some ways believe that to be true. If no one saw me, it doesn’t count. Not just on a personal or professional level, but spiritually as well. 

I was thinking about this phenomenon within the context of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6. In His discourse, Jesus is distinguishing between the religious leaders of His day with those who would choose to follow Him. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Pharisee’s of Jesus’ day would have certainly utilized social media accounts if they would have had them. Think about this from Matthew 6:2 

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”-Matthew 6:2.  

If they were going as far as to literally “toot their own horns” in the streets and synagogues, they certainly would have posted pictures of themselves giving to the needy. 

Giving to help those in need was not their primary goal. The goal of their giving was to be seen by men. Not being seen, was like it never happened. You can’t build a reputation or a following among men by making your giving secret. However, you can build a tremendous reputation with God, who sees everything, even the secret things.


Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Sermons that shape us: Relaxed Righteousness (Pt.2)

(Part 2) 


In Matthew 5:20, Jesus makes a profound and telling statement:


“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”-Matthew 5:20


Even though, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were supposedly responsible for living and teaching others to live out the “letter of the law”; they were falling short of living the righteous life God intended. The standard of righteousness they were struggling to maintain was not enough to qualify them for heaven. They were living a relaxed righteousness. Jesus goes on in Chapter 5 to give them six examples of what He means.  


Each of these examples begins with the phrase “You have heard it said.” Basically, what Jesus is saying is that for generations you have been told that “this” is the standard of righteousness, but I am here to tell you that the bar is set higher than what you’ve been trying to reach:


1.  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.-Matthew 5:21-23


2. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.-Matthew 5:27-28


3. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”-Matthew 5:31-32


 4. “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.-Matthew 5:33-35


5. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”-Matthew 5:38-42


6. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’-Matthew 5:43-44 


Are you guilty of relaxing righteousness for your own benefit? Are you living below God’s righteous standards? Have you lowered the bar? Truth is within ourselves, we cannot live up to the righteous standards God has set for us: 


“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”-Isaiah 64:6


However, In Christ, we are without excuse: 


For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”-2 Corinthians 5:21


We need to stop looking for ways to lower the goal and start living out the righteous lives God intended for us. 



Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church 

Sermons that shape us: Relaxed Righteousness (Pt.1)

(Part 1) 


 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”-Matthew 5:17-20


We have watched for generations as the standard of righteousness has slowly diminished within the body of Christ. Things that would have been renounced, rebuked and expelled from the church, in generations past, are now being tolerated, accepted and even celebrated. 


In Matthew 5:17, Jesus was quick to point out that He did not come to ‘abolish’ the Law or the Prophets. He declared clearly that His coming in no way wiped out the moral code, ethical positions or spiritual implications of the law. There are some today who place no value in the Old Testament; believing that with the coming of the New Covenant, the Old Covenant has been formally put to an end and has no authoritative rule for our lives. They contend that only those moral or ethical standards repeated in the New Testament are binding upon the body of Christ today. 


However, Jesus came and lived out the Law perfectly, fulfilling it rather than abolishing it. Going as far as to affirm that not an iota or a dot would pass from the Law until it is accomplished. Most Bible-believing Christians, I contend, still see the value and virtue of the Old Testament Law. Things like the Ten Commandments still hold a place of honor in our daily lives. But, what concerns me more is not those who are trying to abolish God’s righteous standards, but those who are more subtly attempting to relax His standards: 


 “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”-Matthew 5:19


 Relax means to make (a rule or restriction) less strict while not abolishing it.


What we have seen within the body of Christ over the past several generations is not as much of an attempt to abolish God’s righteous standards as we’ve seen an attempt to “make it less strict”. We’ve attempted to lower the bar, rather than raise it. 


Somewhere along the way we have bought into the idea that the grace of God somehow lowered the standard of righteousness that God expects from us. 


Grace, however, in no way diminishes our need for righteousness, nor does it lower the standard of righteousness we are to live by. Some people live under the misconception that because Jesus lived a righteous life, we don’t have to. They believe that because Jesus paid the penalty of our sin at the cross, that somehow, that sacrificial act has relaxed the righteous standards expected of us. 


Scott Burr